In marne-la-vallée, a new town 20 kilometers outside of paris, a research and civil engineering campus has opened, designed by french architect jean-philippe pargade. the 40,000 square meter scheme includes laboratories, offices, and lecture rooms, alongside various sports facilities and an on-site restaurant.
The design is defined by the so-called ‘landscape wave’, an undulating concrete roof canopy topped with a vast area of plantation. the vaulted structure uses techniques often found in bridge building, and fittingly houses a vast concrete testing lab. the accessible green roof not only provides the campus with external areas for recreation, but also reinforces the surrounding structures, uniting the entirety of the scheme.
Internally, a large multipurpose area at ground floor level brings together the shared functions of the site – contained within glazed units that overlook the centrally positioned park. from an environmental perspective, the project uses an overall bio-climatic system to conserve energy. the buildings are oriented to maximize solar gain, while natural ventilation methods and rainwater harvesting techniques are also employed.